In commemoration of its seventy-fifth anniversary in 1922, The Tribune offers $100,000.00 in prizes for designs for a new building to be erected between its present Plant and Michigan Boulevard. More than 260 entries were received.
Chicago Tribune, June 10, 1922
Call for Entries
These photos show The Tribune Plant from the south (above) and from the north (below). The ruled white space marks the site on which the new Tribune Monument will stand. Architects have been offered $100,000 in prizes for a suitable design. The low building north of The Plant is a Tribune garage.
Chicago Tribune Tower
Chicago Tribune, December 3, 1922
The winner was a neo-Gothic design by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, with buttresses near the top.
The entry that many perceived as the best—a radically simplified tower by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen—took second place and received $20,000. Saarinen’s tower, which anticipated the coming impact of stripped-down modernism on building form, was preferred by critics like Louis Sullivan, and was a strong influence on the next generation of skyscrapers including Raymond Hood’s own subsequent work on the McGraw-Hill Building and Rockefeller Center. The 1929 Gulf Building in Houston, Texas, designed by architects Alfred C. Finn, Kenneth Franzheim, and J. E. R. Carpenter, is a close realization of that Saarinen design. César Pelli’s 181 West Madison Street Building in Chicago is also thought to be inspired by Saarinen’s design.
Other Tribune tower entries by figures like Walter Gropius, Bertram Goodhue, Bruno Taut, and Adolf Loos remain intriguing suggestions of what might have been, but perhaps not as intriguing as the one surmounted by Rushmore-like head of an American Indian. These entries were originally published by the Tribune Company in 1923 under the title Tribune Tower Competition.
Today there are 149 History Stones embedded in the walls of the Tribune Tower. The 150th is a moon rock which is on display in a window. Here are the original 31 Stones and their origin:
- 1. Old General Post Office, Dublin, Ireland
2. Hamlet’s Castle, Denmark
3. Part of Japanese Lantern from Shrine of Hibija
4. Princeton University
5. Old Chapel, Yale University
6. Westminster Abbey, London, England
7. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
9. Oldest part of Cologne Cathedral, Germany
10. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
11. Trundjhem Cathedral, Norway, A. D. 1206
12. Great Wall of China
13. Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens
14. Royal Castle, Stockholm, Sweden
15. Manila – Fort Santiago prison where Rizal was confined the night before his execution
16. Manila – from Santa Lucia Barracks. Stone on old Chinese gravestone brought as ballast by Spanish ships beginning of 17th century
17. Manila – Fort San Antonio Abad, target for Admiral Dewey’s bombardment in 1898
18. Foundation of News Building, New York
19. Bridge in Forbidden City, Peking, China
20. The Winter Palace, Peking, China, 15th century
21. The roof of a temple in the Forbidden City, 15th century
22. The ruins of an ancient temple in Honan Province, China
23. Cologne Cathedral, Germany
24. The battlements of Fortress Ehrenbreitstein, Rhineland, Germany (four stones)
25. Senate Press Gallery, Washington, D. C.
26. Citadel, David’s Tower, Jerusalem
27. Luther’s Warthung near Eisenach, Germany
28. Castle of Chillon, Switzerland
29. Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge
30. The ruins of Santa Domingo Monastery and Church, Old Panama
31. Mosque of Saint Sophia, Constantinople. Church built in 548.
Tribune Tower Design Competition. The International Competition for a New Administration Building for the Chicago Tribune
First Prize, John Mead Howells and Raymond M. Hood, New York
Perspective drawing of the winning entry
Second Prize, Eliel Saarinen, Helsingfors, Finland with Dwight Wallace and Bertell Grenman, Chicago
Ralph Walker of McKenzie, Voorhees & Gmelin, New York
Bertram Goodhue Mew York
Third Prize, Holabird & Roche, Chicago
Adolf Loos, Nice, France
Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz, Magdeburg, Germany)